If you think a drug you're taking might be causing your depression, you may be right. Certain medications prescribed for various medical conditions do cause such feelings as sadness, despair, and discouragement. And those are feelings that are often associated with depression. Other medicines prescribed for medical problems can trigger mania (excessive elation and energy) that's usually associated with bipolar disorder.
If winter weather triggers carbohydrate cravings, you're not alone. Many people snack more on carbohydrate-containing foods in winter, sometimes in an unconscious effort to boost their mood, says Judith Wurtman, PhD, a former scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of The Serotonin PowerDiet.
How can you tell if your seasonal carbohydrate cravings are in the normal range or a possible symptom of winter depression?
How Can I Know if a Drug May Be Causing Depression or Mania?
The best way to know if a drug could be affecting your mood in a negative way is to know which medicines commonly cause depression or mania. Then talk to your doctor to see if any of the medicines you are taking are likely causing or contributing to mood symptoms, and if so, discuss whether a different medication may be a better choice. Your doctor should let you know up front which drugs might cause feelings of depression or mania and should evaluate whether mood symptoms are or are not likely related to medicines.
Drugs That Might Cause Mania (Excessive Elation)
The following drugs could cause symptoms of mania. Even though the risk for some of these drugs might not be high, you should discuss the risk with your doctor if you take them:
Corticosteroids. This group of drugs decreases inflammation (swelling) and reduces the activity of the immune system (cells that fight infection). Examples include hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, prednisone, Flovent, and Azmacort.
Cyclosporine. This drug is used to suppress the immune system to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs.
Baclofen intrathecal (Lioresal). This is a muscle relaxant and antispastic agent. It's often used to treat multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.
All antidepressants, including MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as phenelzine (Nardil) or tranylcypromine (Parnate); SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), and paroxetine (Paxil); SNRIs (serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla), duloxetine (Cymbalta), Levomilnacipran (Fetzima), Venlafaxine (Effexor XR); and tricyclic antidepressants (such as nontriptyline (Pamelor).